Agendas and Minutes

City Council (View All)

Regular Meeting

Minutes
Tuesday, March 02, 2010

MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR MEETING

ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL

March 2, 2010

Council Chambers

1175 E. Main Street

 

CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.

 

ROLL CALL

Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present. Councilor Lemhouse was absent.

 

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Stromberg read an article in the Oregonian about the Battalion of the 41st Brigade Combat Team of the Oregon National Guard (1/186) regarding job opportunity issues some of the 1/186 will face when they return to Oregon.  

 

Mayor Stromberg announced vacancies for the annual appointments for Commission and Committee members. The deadline for applications is March 19, 2010. 

 

SHOULD THE COUNCIL APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THESE MEETINGS?

The minutes of the Continued Regular Council of February 8, 2010, Executive Session of February 16, 2010 and the Regular Council of February 16, 2010 were approved as presented.

 

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS

The Mayor's Proclamations of Ashland High School Day and International Women’s Day were read aloud.

 

CONSENT AGENDA 

1.     Does Council wish to approve the minutes of the Boards, Commissions,

        and Committees?

2.     Will Council, acting as the Local Contract Review Board, approve a contract-specific special procurement requesting approval to directly award a contract to Hunter Communications for Internet Bandwidth for a period of six months?

3.     Will Council approve an engineering services contract amendment to the current contract with Kennedy Jenks Consultants for $49,384 to complete phase II of the Stormwater Master Plan Update?

 

Councilor Jackson/Navickas m/s to approve Consent Agenda.  Voice Vote:  all AYES.  Motion passed.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS

1.     Should the Council continue until April 6, 2010 the public hearing and first reading of ordinances amending the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Maps to include the Croman Mill District?

Councilor Silbiger declared a conflict of interest and requested Council to excuse him from the discussion.

 

Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to recuse Councilor Silbiger from the discussion.  Voice Vote:  all AYES.  Motion passed.

 

Councilor Silbiger left the room at 7:14 p.m.

 

Public Hearing Opened: 7:15pm

Public Hearing Closed: 7:15pm

 

Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to continue the Public Hearing and First Reading on the proposed Croman Mill District map and ordinance amendments to April 6, 2010.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Voisin, Navickas, Jackson and Chapman, YES.  Motion passed

 

Councilor Silbiger returned to the meeting at 7:16 p.m.

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

1.     Should the Council approve Second Reading of an Ordinance amending Chapter 18.112 and Chapter 18.108 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance to provide for timetable tolling during ending appeals and court proceedings?

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.

 

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to approve Ordinance #3005.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Jackson, Voisin, Silbiger, Chapman and Navickas. Motion passed.

 

2.     Should the Council approve Second Reading of an Ordinance amending Chapter 18.112 and Chapter 18.108 of the Ashland Land Use Ordinance to provide for a timetable extension for land use development and building activity delayed due to the economic recession? 

Councilor Silbiger declared a potential conflict of interest noting a family member was interested in property possibly affected by the ordinance but would not let that bias him.

 

Councilor Navickas voiced concern that substantial changes were occurring during Second Readings and there should be an additional reading to allow time for public review. He did not think it was appropriate under the Charter.  City Attorney Richard Appicello explained the only requirement in the Charter was changes be fully read during the Second Reading.  

 

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.

 

Council discussed having an 18-month or 12-month extension.  Currently banks were not giving commercial loans and a 12-month extension would allow additional time for the economic situation to settle down. 

 

Councilor Silbiger/Chapman m/s to limit the recession extension to twelve (12) months.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Chapman, Jackson, Silbiger and Voisin, YES; Councilor Navickas, NO. 

Motion passed 4-1.

 

Council further discussed requiring proof from the bank on not providing financing to applicants, adding criteria that no significant site conditions had changed during the extension, adding language to the ordinance from Alternative B and establishing July 1, 2009 through January 1, 2010 as eligibility dates for the extension.

 

Councilor Navickas/Voisin m/s to reschedule Second Reading to the next meeting with changes discussed.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Navickas reiterated the changes were substantial and staff needed the opportunity to review the ordinance.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Voisin and Navickas, YES; Councilor Jackson, Chapman and Silbiger, NO.  Motion failed 3-2.

 

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s substitute paragraph B. under 18.112.035 Timetable Extension for paragraph B. under the New Alternative:  “Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, any zoning permit or planning action approval having received approval prior to July 1, 2009, and current as of January 1, 2010, shall be granted an additional twelve (12) month extension of time, upon application to the Staff Advisor.  This extension is in addition to any other time extension previously granted or that may be granted.  The Staff Advisor shall make the timetable adjustment regardless of the original approval authority.”

Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Silbiger, Jackson, Voisin and Chapman YES; Councilor Navickas, NO. Motion passed 4-1.

 

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s change the last WHEREAS at the end of page 1 of the ordinance from an 18-month timetable extension to a 12-month timetable extension.

Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Chapman, Jackson, Silbiger, Navickas and Voisin, YES.  Motion passed.

 

Mr. Appicello read aloud the changes to the ordinance that included 18.112.035 Timetable Extension for paragraph B:  “Notwithstanding any other provision of this Chapter, any zoning permit or planning action approval having received approval prior to July 1, 2009, and current as of January 1, 2010, shall be granted an additional twelve (12) month extension of time, upon application to the Staff Advisor.  This extension is in addition to any other time extension previously granted or that may be granted.  The Staff Advisor shall make the timetable adjustment regardless of the original approval authority.”  Changing the sixth WHEREAS clause on page 1 to read:  WHEREAS, the City of Ashland, acting by and through the City Council, desires to provide for a uniform twelve (12) month timetable extension for all development approvals due to the recent economic downturn…”

 

Councilor Jackson/Silbiger m/s to approve Ordinance #3007 and adopt as amended.

DISCUSSION:  Councilor Chapman would not support the motion and was not comfortable writing law that would benefit a small group of people. He would support a re-application process that compensated the City for work done.  Councilor Voisin did not think the extension was fair and Council should delay Second Reading until April 6, 2010 for further discussion.  Councilor Jackson spoke in favor of the motion noting it was one paragraph to support the private sector in the community caught in extraordinary circumstances.  Councilor Silbiger was disappointed to hear Council did not understand the economic difficulties occurring that would continue for some time.  Councilor Navickas agreed this was an extraordinary circumstance but the extension allowed developers with speculative projects to hold onto projects where the market demand no longer existed.  Mayor Stromberg cautioned against using the word speculative, if the project went through all the legal requirements, the City agreed it was legitimate and not speculators making bad deals.  What happened with the credit markets was unprecedented.  Councilor Jackson added the projects came from citizens in the community that live and work here, not outside corporations.  This was about community and jobs in Ashland.

Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Jackson, Silbiger and Voisin, YES; Councilor Chapman and Navickas, NO Motion passed 3-2.

 

3.     Should Council authorize staff to advertise a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a short-term (2-3 year) lease of approximately 265 acres of the Imperatrice property located below the irrigation canal? 

City Administrator Martha Bennett provided an overview of past discussions regarding the property that included initiating the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, placing a permanent conservation easement on the property and waiting for results from the completed Master Plan.  Staff was currently proposing a two-year RFP for the land below the irrigation ditch and reserving long-term decisions until the Wastewater Master Plan was finished. 

 

Councilor Voisin thought the RFPs should focus on food production crops.

 

Staff clarified that under the new RFP, cattle grazing would not be allowed above the irrigation ditch.

 

Ron Roth/6950 Old 99 South/Noted an area on the Imperatrice property map that could be developed into a series of 3-4 ponds stocked with fish and turned into waterfowl habitat.  He had no issues with continuing cattle grazing but restricting grazing below the canal would require fencing and wanted to know who would fund that project. 

 

Jeff Sharp/411 Mountain Avenue/Explained he was from Sharp Energy Solutions and the Imperatrice property was ideal for a biomass facility, solar farm or an adjunct to the wastewater treatment plant and could be funded by Federal dollars.  He urged the Council not to restrict the RFP to agriculture and wait on potential government funding to investigate other possibilities.

 

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to authorize staff to advertise a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a short-term (2-3 years) lease of approximately 265 acres of the Imperatrice property located below the irrigation canal.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Chapman supported the motion but had concerns keeping cattle below the canal and retaining trail easements.  Public Director Mike Faught responded the RFP would include provisions on keeping cattle below the canal and the trails identified in the RFP would remain.  Councilor Voisin explained why she wanted the RFP restricted to table food crops production.  Staff added the land was Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) and the RFP had language stating applicants would comply with Jackson County Land Use Requirements. 

 

Councilor Chapman withdrew the motion with Councilor Jackson’s consent for further public testimony.

 

Alex Amarotico/101 Oak Street/Noted the Soil Report for the property indicated there was not enough of a soil base for farming in that area and it would take years to amend the soil to farming levels.

 

Councilor Chapman/Jackson m/s to authorize staff to advertise a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a short-term (2-3 years) lease of approximately 265 acres of the Imperatrice property located below the irrigation canal. 

 

Councilor Voisin motioned to amend the motion to restrict the RFP to agricultural uses primarily farming of food that is edible.  Motion died due to lack of a second. 

 

CONTINUED DISCUSSION ON MAIN MOTION:  Councilor Jackson supported food crops but did not want to limit the RFP to specific crops since these were short-term leases and thought energy production was compatible with agriculture.  Councilor Navickas noted it the time it takes to set up a farm and establish soils and a two-year lease was not adequate for the process required.  The property has steep slopes better suited to grape production and not much else without long-term soil amendment.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Navickas, Voisin, Silbiger, Chapman and Jackson. YES. Motioned passed

 

NEW AND MISCELLANEOUS BUSINESS

1.     Shall the Mayor and Council approve appointment for the vacant position on the Citizen Budget Committee with term ending December 31, 2011? 

 

Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to appoint Roberta Stebbins to fill the vacant position on the Citizens Budget Committee with a term ending 12/31/2011.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Chapman explained he had worked with Ms. Stebbins the previous year and greatly respected her ability to understand and perform the charge of the Budget Committee.  The other applicants were qualified but he thought under the present conditions Ms. Stebbins was the right choice.  Councilor Jackson objected to nominating an individual not on the list and commented that Open Meetings Law directs Council to solicit names to consider for Budget Committee appointments.  Councilor Navickas agreed with Councilor Jackson, there were three qualified applicants and he did not know what Ms. Stebbins thought regarding reappointment.  Councilor Silbiger expressed his disappointment when Council did not reappoint Ms. Stebbins the previous year.  Councilor Chapman clarified he had discussed the process with the City Recorder and she had provided several options for nominating an individual during a meeting and that he had contacted each Councilor with his intention.  Councilor Jackson responded calling Council individually was not considered open public process. 

Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Chapman, Voisin, Silbiger and Mayor Stromberg, YES; Councilor Jackson and Navickas, NO.  Motion passed 4-2.

 

2.     Will Council approve scheduling a public hearing on raising Water and Wastewater utility rates to fund operational and capital expenditures? 

Administrative Director Lee Tuneberg explained why staff was recommending an 8% increase in water rates and a 9% increase in wastewater and the researched involved in the decision.  Low water supply, increased treatment costs and the drop in consumption due to the water curtailment contributed to the rate increases.  Funds from the Food and Beverage Tax helped with debt service and offset increased rate amounts but were not enough to cover the costs of treating effluent that were higher than previous years.  The dollar impact per month on the average family would increase $2.68 for water and $2.11 for wastewater.  There was a possibility of refinancing a Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) loan to reduce debt service $150,000 per year that would bring the City more in line with the revenues received from the Food and Beverage Tax.

 

Staff was also recommending a surcharge for irrigation use during the summer months.  The proposed surcharge would affect water use over 3600 cubic feet and could extend the water supply through September or October and possibly eliminate denying usage.  This proposal was not included in the rate increase.  Staff would also bring low-income subsidy options to the Public Hearing. 

 

Councilor Navickas suggested offsetting the Street Reserve Franchise Fees for the long-term through an impervious surface surcharge that would identify who was putting the higher impact on the storm water system and associating that with the area of impervious surface.  Staff will look at a surface surcharge towards the end of the Storm Water Master Plan. 

 

Staff summarized the rate increases were attributed to the amount of revenue generated from the existing rates, not receiving budgeted revenue, water curtailment and operational costs for maintaining the system and treating effluent.  In addition, operational costs for the current fiscal year had actually been reduced a one-time amount of $700,000.  A correction to page 2 of 5 #4 was made changing 40% to 20%.

 

Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to set Public Hearing to discuss Water and Wastewater rate adjustments on March 16, 2010.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Chapman, Silbiger, Jackson, Voisin and Navickas, YES.  Motion passed

 

3.         Does Council have questions regarding the Oregon Department of Transportation's I-5 Corridor Plan? 

Mike Baker from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) provided a presentation that included:

·         Summary of Work Tasks

·         Plan Goals

·         Existing Transportation Volumes

·         Existing Traffic Operations – Level of Service

·         Volume to Capacity V/C ratio are within operational standard (0.80) - Peak v/a ratio is between Int. 30 and Int. 27

·         Existing Crash Reports

·         2034 Northbound Trip Distribution

·         2050 Northbound Trip Distribution

·         2034 RPT Traffic Volumes

·         2050 RPS Traffic Volumes  

·         2034 I-5 Mainline Operations

·         2050 Transportation Volumes

·         Corridor Deficiencies 1 thru 3

·         Potential Projects and Strategies

·         System Management Measures

·         Safety Enhancement Measures

·         Capacity Enhancement Measures

·         Least Cost Planning Solutions

·         Potential Projects and Strategies:  Transportation Demand Management

 

Mr. Baker explained I-5 Corridor Plan would not affect municipalities’ Transportation System Plans with the exception of transit on Highway 99.  

 

ORDINANCES, RESOLUTIONS AND CONTRACTS

1.   Should the Council approve Second Reading of an ordinance banning use of fireworks in the City of Ashland?  

 

Sally McKirgan/351 Bridge Street/Congratulated the Council on the full ban of fireworks, it was an equitable decision. Putting half of Ashland at risk for the sake of tradition or fun was not an option.

 

Carl McKirgan/351 Bridge Street/Shared details regarding the 1991 Oakland Hills fire that included how quickly the fire spread, structure damage, the number of people affected and the number who died. 

 

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud and the following change to the third WHEREAS:  “…fuel loading, terrain slope and aspect, and narrow steep streets make fires both more likely and more difficult to fight in Ashland; and…” Changes to the fourth WHEREAS included “…the City can best protect against fires caused by fireworks by prohibiting fireworks in the City limits…”

 

Councilor Chapman/Voisin m/s to approve Ordinance #3006 with changes as read.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Chapman explained statistics provided by Fire Chief Karns showed 64 fires attributed to fireworks occurred in Ashland from 2001 to 2009 influenced his decision to support a full ban.

 

Councilor Navickas motioned to add the following language to the last sentence under 15.28.070 C: “…except in specifically designated areas…” Motion died due to lack of a second.    

 

CONTINUED DISCUSSION ON MAIN MOTION:  Councilor Jackson was more inclined to a ban above Siskiyou Boulevard.  Councilor Silbiger thought there was a compromise last time with the permits that Council rejected.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Chapman, Voisin, Silbiger and Jackson, YES, Councilor Navickas, NO. Motion passed 4-1.

 

2.   Should the Council approve First Reading of an ordinance that amends the Living Wage ordinance by defining "twelve month period" and clarifying that retroactive payments are not always required?  

Parks & Recreation Director Don Robertson explained changing the twelve-month period to any calendar year with a three-month break of service would be easier to track and explain the Living Wage to respective employees and contractors.  The three-month gap ensured staff was not taking advantage of labor.  The other change would remove paying an employee retroactive Living Wage pay at hour 1,041 that would cost the City approximately $3,000 and instead start Living Wage pay at the 1,041 hour worked.  Currently, the Parks and Recreation Department lay off employees when they approach 1,040 hours and hire another to complete the task.

 

Rich Rohde/124 Ohio/Explained he was the staff organizer for Oregon Action and their involvement in passing the ordinance nine years ago.  Changing the twelve-month period to a calendar year was an attempt to avoid paying decent wages.  People who work 1,040 hours for the City ought to have a Living Wage, it could start at hour 1,041 but from that point on they should be considered Living Wage workers in Ashland.  He thought going to a calendar year made it more flexible for administrators to keep people below a Living Wage. The intention of this ordinance should be to pay people a Living Wage, not to save money. There was no justification in rehiring someone who had previously done the work and not paying them a Living Wage. Tracking employees’ hours was not administratively difficult to measure.

 

Councilor Navickas thought everyone should receive a Living Wage and suggested removing the exemption for temporary employees.  The Parks and Recreation Department could cut programs to make up for budget shortfalls instead of paying people inappropriately.  Mr. Robertson explained the majority of these employees were teenagers and expressed concern paying the Living Wage to temporary and part time employees would greatly reduce the amount of programs and activities or increase the cost of using the pool and the ice rink. Councilor Navickas reiterated instead of increasing fees, the Parks and Recreation Department could cut a program, continuing to put the burden on the fee payer and the worker was not the right solution.

 

City Attorney Richard Appicello read the ordinance title aloud.

 

Councilor Voisin/Navickas m/s to deny First Reading and maintain current code language and interpretation.  DISCUSSION:  Councilor Voisin thought the proposed changes did not treat the worker fairly.  Councilor Silbiger did not support the motion and was not convinced changing the twelve-month period to a calendar year was in the best interest of the City.  He saw benefit in changing the retroactive pay from the first hour to starting the Living Wage at hour 1,041.  The current language created a disincentive to retain temporary employees.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Voisin and Navickas, YES; Councilor Chapman, Silbiger and Jackson, NO.  Motion failed 3-2.

 

Councilor Silbiger/Jackson m/s to approve First Reading and set Second Reading for March 16, 2010 of a modification of AMC 3.12.040 B to clarify that an employee hired as seasonal or part time has a remedy only back to 1041 hours in a calendar year.  DISCUSSION: Councilor Silbiger clarified temporary and part time employees would have to reach 1,040 hours within the calendar year to receive Living Wage pay.  Roll Call Vote:  Councilor Chapman, Silbiger and Jackson, YES; Councilor Voisin and Navickas, NO; Motion passed 3-2.

 

3.   Should the Council approve First Reading of an ordinance amending Chapter 9 concerning weed abatement and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?  

 

Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to continue weed abatement to the March 16, 2010 meeting.  Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

4.   Does Council wish to adopt various ordinances classifying Municipal Code Offenses and creating a base fine system?

a.               Should the Council approve First Reading of an Ordinance amending Chapter 1.08 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses, and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

b.     Should the Council approve First Reading of an Ordinance amending Chapter 9 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses, and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

c.     Should the Council approve First Reading of an Ordinance amending Chapter 10 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses, and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?

d.     Should the Council approve First Reading of an Ordinance amending Chapter 11 to add provisions concerning the classification of offenses, and move the ordinance on to Second Reading?   

 

Councilor Jackson/Chapman m/s to continue first reading of ordinances related to classification of Offenses to the second meeting in April. Voice Vote: all AYES. Motion passed.

 

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

 

 

 

Dana Smith, Assistant to City Recorder                         

John Stromberg, Mayor

 

 

 

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